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Media praise Zabaleta legacy

LEGEND: Pablo Zabaleta will leave City at the end of the season

LEGEND: Pablo Zabaleta will leave City at the end of the season

Ahead of Manchester City’s final game of the season away at Watford, the media is awash with news, views, opinion and transfer gossip. Here’s the best of it we’ve found this morning.

Let’s start with Paul Wilson's piece in the Guardian, which looks at Pablo Zabaleta’s status as a City legend. 

Wilson believes the Argentine's place in the pantheon of recent City greats is secure as he prepares to leave the Club after nine years service. 

He writes: “Pablo Zabaleta, who is leaving the club after nine years, is the latest in a series of terrace heroes that includes Colin Bell, Georgi Kinkladze, Uwe Rösler and perhaps even Shaun Goater. Not all of those players made the same impact, and maybe the expression ‘club legend’ fits some better than others, but what they all had in common was an instant and easy affinity with the crowd. Like the supporters, they “got” City, understood what the club were all about and performed as if being asked to run out at Maine Road or the Etihad was an honour and a privilege rather than a weekly duty.

“The Argentinian full-back has been arguably one of the Premier League’s most consistently feisty competitors during his time in England, not just splendidly reliable at chugging up and down City’s right flank but one could tell from his parting remarks after his final home appearance against West Bromwich Albion that he knew which buttons to press. “My favourite moments were when we beat Manchester United in the semi-final at Wembley,” he said on the pitch. “And the first Premier League we won with Sergio Agüero’s goal. The fans had waited so long and we did it in a City way.”

The full article is well worth reading.

Meanwhile, Simon Jones, writing in the Mail, believes City may have identified Zabaleta’s replacement.

Jones says Monaco right-back Fabinho is on the Club’s radar, with the Brazilian’s versatility hugely appealing to Guardiola as he looks to reshape the Blues squad.

“Manchester City are front-runners for Monaco defender Fabinho,” Jones writes.

“The 23-year-old Brazilian, who can play at right-back or in midfield, also has interest from Manchester United.

“City are keen on Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker but Daniel Levy does not wish to sell for less than £45 million.

“Fabinho is under contract until 2021 but would prove cheaper than Walker.

“His versatility would give Pep Guardiola more options on the right flank next season.

“Monaco signed Fabinho from Rio Ave after a successful loan spell. He also spent a season at Real Madrid and has four caps for Brazil.”

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And, finally, the Express say City are in the hunt to sign Brazilian superstar Neymar.

Rivals Manchester United are thought to be long-term admirers – but Colin Mafham believes City could also make an approach.

“Pep Guardiola could beat United to Neymar's signature with the Barca striker admitting last year that he would love to play under the Spaniard,” he writes.

"Guardiola is a guy that I really admire and who I would love to work with," said Neymar.”

That’s all for today, Blues! Enjoy the game and we’ll see you same time, same place tomorrow for more media musings. 

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